Potes – a historic complex

Potes is a city and a municipality in the autonomous community of Cantabria in Spain. It is the capital of the Comarca of Liébana located in the centre of it.

The town of Potes is located at the confluence of four valleys, near where the River Quiviesa flows in the River Deva, the latter born at altitudes of the Picos de Europa national park.

Since 2019 the city has been a part of the network The most beautiful towns in Spain.

Tourism and main attractions

There are three assets of cultural interest in the municipality:

The whole city (Villa de Potes), with the category of a historic complex.

The Torre del Infantado is a fortification, founded by the Lama family, it was built in the 14th century. It belonged to Tello, Lord of Liébana, brother of King Enrique II, and son of Alfonso XI.

Starting in the 16th century, and after a series of clashes over possession of the manor, it was the ancestral home of Íñigo López de Mendoza, Marqués de Santillana, and of his descendants. It would finally remain in the hands of the Dukes of Osuna, who sold it in 1868.

Currently this building is an exhibition center.

This building is a Site of Cultural Interest since 1985.

The church of San Vicente – a Historic Artistic Monument.

It is a building made up of spaces that correspond to different constructive moments, with a chronology that extends from the 14th century to the 18th century and architectural styles that evolve from Gothic forms to Renaissance and Baroque forms.

Initially the church consisted of a single nave with four sections marked by buttresses on the inside and buttresses on the outside. The door and the openings are pointed and have a molding on the thread. All this part, together with the chapel with a barrel vault on the Gospel side, could correspond to the 14th and 15th centuries.

The Camino de Santiago: it is one of the municipalities through which the Lebaniega Route passes, which links the Coastal Way to Santiago with the French Way.

Other places of interest:

The nearby Bridge of San Cayetano overlooks the Rio Quiviesa since the 13th century. At one end is the Ermita de San Cayetano, a chapel which retains its wooden doors and an altarpiece of the 18th century with a portrait of San Cayetano.

Other houses, the Casona de la Canal (18th century), the Torre de la Familia Osorio (17th century) and the 18th century San Marcial Street, bears the arms of the family Campillo and birthplace of Jesus Monasterio, dating from the same period.

The Ermita de la Virgen del Camino is a chapel of the 18th century in the district of la Serna, it has an altarpiece of the same century. The Convent of San Raimundo was built in the early 17th century by the Benedictines. It remains today as the cloister which houses an exhibition on the Picos de Europa and Comarca of Liébana.

The Ermita de la Virgen de Valmayor, located outside the village, on the road to Vega de Liebana is a chapel built in the 16th century. The altarpiece of the 18th century with the image of the Virgin of Valmayor. This image is carried every 15 August during a procession.


Among the various festivals in the town, La Cruz or the Fiesta del Orujo stand out, both declared of Regional Tourist Interest. The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is celebrated on September 14. On Mount Viorna and around the Santo Toribio de Liébana monastery, the Lignum Crucis is venerated.

May 2: procession of La Santuca, patron saint of Liébana; from Aniezo it descends to Santo Toribio in one of the longest processions in the Spanish geography.

July 2: Festival of La Virgen de la Salud in the ports of Áliva. Declared of Regional Tourist Interest.

August 15: Our Lady of Valmayor in Potes.

First Sunday of August in years ending in 0 or 5: Feast of the Sacred Heart at San Carlos Peak.

Last Sunday of August: festival of San Tirso in Ojedo.

September 8: the Virgen de la Luz, in her hermitage in Peña Sagra.

September 14: the festivities of La Cruz in Potes.

November 2: All Saints fair in Potes.


The best known dish from Potes is the chickpea stew Cocido Lebaniego. Other products from Potes, include various cheeses, honey and the grape brandy Orujo that is made from wine grown in the valley.

How to get to?

Nearest airport is in Santander.

From Santander 1 hr 35 min (106 km) via A-8 and N-621

From Madrid 4 hr 48 min (422 km) via A-6

Main information

Area: 7,6 km²

Coordinates: 43°09′13″N 4°37′24″W

Population: 1322

Languages: Spanish

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

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